(BPT) - A healthy pet doesn't happen by accident. Even a dog or cat without preexisting health conditions needs their owner's help to live their best life and maintain their well-being. Check out these five tips from pet experts at Purina who explain how to prioritize your pet's health to keep your four-legged companion happy and healthy.
1. Provide complete and balanced nutrition
Ensuring your pet is receiving proper nutrition is key. 'Many pet foods on the market today are meant to be the only source of nutrition for pets,' said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), Veterinary Technical Communications. 'That's why it's critical that they're 100 percent complete and balanced for the intended life stage.
When you see 'complete & balanced' on your pet's food, it means that it provides your pet the right amount of all essential nutrients and in the right proportions that their bodies need.
2. Get plenty of exercise
Nothing strengthens the bond between you and your pet like doing something energetic together. Whether you take your dog for a walk in a place you both love or play a new game with your cat, spending quality time together is top of the list when it comes to showing your pet you love them and care for their well-being. Not only are pets kept active, but pet owners also reap the health benefits here.
3. Take care of their skin and coat
Brushing your pet isn't just for looks. Taking care of your dog's skin and coat is important for your pup's health. 'A dog's skin and coat is their largest organ and protects their bones, muscles and other organs,' says Gagné. 'It also plays a vital role maintaining body temperature.'
Using a supplement like EverRoot Skin & Coat oil is a great option if your dog has sensitive skin, as it includes skin-loving nutrients like MCTs, vitamin E, DHA & EPA.
4. Teach them new skills
Investing time in your pet is a wonderful way to show them how much you care, and it's another great way to care for their physical and mental health. 'Teaching new skills will help keep their minds sharp, is a great form of entertainment and can incorporate physical activity as well,' said Dr. Ragen McGowan, PhD, Animal Behavior Scientist. 'Interactive puzzle toys for dogs or food maze bowls for cats and dogs are great ways to keep them mentally fit.'
5. Consider using supplements
To make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your pet as healthy as possible, consider using supplements to help address their specific needs.
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements offers options to help with a variety of circumstances pet parents may encounter. For example, FortiFlora is a probiotic supplement that contains a safe and effective strain of beneficial bacteria to promote normal intestinal microflora, which means digestive and immune support for cats and dogs.
'If your dog or cat is displaying anxious behaviors, ask your veterinarian about Calming Care, a probiotic supplement that helps pets maintain calm behavior and cope with external stressors,' said McGowan. And for owners who feel their cat could use help staying hydrated, Hydra Care is a nutrient-enriched water which has been shown to increase total liquid intake when compared to cats consuming only water and dry food.*
*Cats must consume at least 2 oz per 5 lbs of bodyweight daily for benefit.